“European regulators considered forcing Microsoft Corp. to change the way it sells its Windows software around the world but decided to limit the draft order to Europe to avoid charges of overreaching, according to sources familiar with the case,” Paul Geitner reports for The Associated Press. “The last-minute debate came just before the lengthy decision was sent electronically to the 15 EU national antitrust offices last Friday for final review, the sources said on condition of anonymity.”
“Initially there was no reference to geographic scope–an omission noticed while it was circulating this month among other branches of the EU’s executive Commission for discussion. While some in Competition Commissioner Mario Monti’s circle then argued for making it global, others with responsibility for trade and single market issues warned that doing so could make the EU look hypocritical on the issue of ‘extraterritoriality’ –a sore subject with Washington especially,” Geitner reports.
“The draft decision finds Microsoft violated EU competition law by bundling its media player into Windows, and by failing to provide competitors in the server market with enough programming code to make their products operate as well with Windows as Microsoft’s own,” Geitner reports. “Sources say the Commission intends to order fines for the past infringements and set standards for server interoperability that Microsoft will have to meet, while allowing Microsoft to work out the details of how to meet them.”
Geitner reports, “The EU proposed last August that Microsoft could settle the media player half of the case by agreeing either to strip its program from Windows or add those made by rivals such as RealNetworks Inc. and Apple Computer Inc. as well. One source said the draft decision contains a ‘clear recipe’ on that issue, but would not elaborate.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Yes, folks, it’s “news for lawyers” day today, it seems. At least there’s some news. Lately, it’s been slow. Hint: the Apple Mac news dry spell may be ending shortly… developing…